Mar 5, 2013

Gig Poster Process - Live from the Console 2013

After a six-month long hiatus, I got back to designing the Live from the Console poster ( the last being the First Anniversary edition). For the uninitiated, Live from the Console is a gig held every month, more or less, in the legendary Mehboob studio, with performances from the very finest of indie bands that India has to offer. I worked first on their branding, which will soon be posted on my website, setting guidelines for the posters in terms of palette and the general vibe. Elephants smoked hookahs, Bling Uncle ate 'Sup' Noodles, hair sprouted trees, all hell broke loose. This time around, I'll show you how it's done.

I presented 2 concepts and got one approved. This was supposed to be a somewhat excited astronaut having landed on a disco ball moon, ready to party. I had 3 days to make the poster and its adapts, which wasn't much time.

I started off with sketches to establish style, gesture, the character and positions. Don't try and get it right the first time, unless you are an illustration pro, which I'm not. Do establish a layout that allows for text changes. With a lettered poster, which is what I usually roll with, this is a big challenge. I then approach the final drawing. The one below goes somewhat in the middle of the layout. I don't bother with the rest of the drawing, can complete that later.



  I start inking in PS with a tablet, the scan in a layer beneath.


 Make sure the inking is in a separate layer and the file has a large pixel dimension, you can always change the colour of the outline using Colour Overlay layer styles. Use the brush with pressure sensitivity turned on! Look at that nice modulated line.


I put in one white layer so I can switch between it and the scan to see the lines clearly. Hmmm!

The final line drawing. I completed the moon. I kept experimenting with the outline of the colour-finally settling on brown. I also kept the shadow a different colour. Hide the background layer, save as a psd and place it in a new file in illustrator. Resize it in place.

Once the placed file is in position in AI, I start vectoring over it, with the intention of moving these roughly made shapes under the line art I made in PS. These are the LFTC colours: Brown, Cyan, Orange, White. They can be overlapped, but no other colour is allowed in the mix. This keeps posters looking consistent in style.  


I got a free, large vector of a mirrorball and shoved it in as the 'moon'. I also added the console radio tower on the flag. This is where I start using transparencies to get everything to look cohesive with minimum effort. A yellow circle is drawn and set on overlay over the mirrorball though the blending mode was changed later. I put a radial gradient in the background for the moon to glow too, to give it some effect. (Later edited out-too distracting) Then I start working on the background. I wanted a really cool dotted effect, with this whole cosmic galaxy feel. A super easy way to do this in PS is to take a free NASA image, desaturate it and then convert it to Bitmap mode. Play with the settings here to get the effect you want, there are other shapes besides dots and they are all good. The best part of working with a bitmap is a. It renders images that would otherwise pixelate as something more scalable and b. When placed in AI, it actually changes colour just like any old vector shape.

This is what I did : set a solid Cyan as background. Threw the bitmap in brown on top and then put this gradient over it. This usually makes the colours a little 'off', like the image was cross processed.


Time for type! I had two areas to put type in. One was in the sky above the astronaut, and one was over the mirrorball. I used the mirrorball for the gig name to maximise effect and the text could all come together. The sky could use up the broken pieces of text, like the band names. Here I put in a solid, thick typeface and offset path in a subtractive value, so I got a border inside the words. Set at orange!

Here's the back and front of the flier. Unlike the front, The back had a solid orange overlay. When we lay it out for print, the back comes on the left and the front on the right. It seems a little counterintuitive, but it makes sense when you flatten the printed flyer on the fold.

Here I block in larger uninterrupted spaces for band/documentary names. I use these spaces as guides. I also had to use the composite logo which was given me, with the sponsor's name. 

Lettering begins using the tablet, in vectors. After lettering a word, I go back and delete anchor points and adjust to make it much neater.

 Ooooh. Close-up.

White was too stark with all that text looking messy. I had a change of text too with one more artist being added to the line-up. So white was changed to a pale blue to make the whole thing look less obtrusive and more cohesive. It's all about Gestalt, people!

The final flyers, printed and done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mira, do you think vectoring your elements essential? I usually work on PS, outline + color and I find that a lot more convenient.

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